Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lee Rogers And An Eternal, Shared American Dream


Political scuttlebutt in Santa Clarita is that Buck McKeon is busy sucking up all the benefits of political corruption available and setting himself up as an armaments lobbyist this session and that he won't run against Lee Rogers again in 2014. Rogers came closer to beating him last year than anyone else in McKeon's whole career. And that was without any help from the DCCC. This year the DCCC is weighing in on Rogers' behalf... and McKeon is trying to hand the district over to an outsider-- right-wing fanatic Tony Strickland. Several other local Republicans aren't prepared to see the widely disliked Strickland, who spent millions of dollars last year, only to lose to Julia Brownley in another district, waltz into CA-25.

While the Republicans squabble among themselves, though, Rogers is moving ahead with his own positive campaign and introducing himself to more voters throught-out the district, which encompasses the Santa Clarita Valley, most of the Antelope Valley and much of Simi Valley. This week, Rogers seemed to avoid Inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that insists voters have no interest in detailed and substantive policy discussions. A prominent nationally-known surgeon and a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, Rogers is a thorough details man. Most DCCC-backed candidates send out e-mail blasts that read-- literally-- like this: "We can win if you send me money and we will stop my evil Republican foe who is up to no good. I love you." This was Rogers' blast this week:
Running through the veins of our country is the ideal that if you work hard, you can achieve prosperity and success. This is the American Dream. It is the opportunity to give your children a better start in life than you had. But for 11 million people in our country, that dream is a myth. Undocumented immigrants work hard for a low wage. Some even pay taxes, but they're not allowed to receive many services. The undocumented are forced to use more expensive options for routine healthcare, like emergency rooms, resulting in increased costs to hospitals which is passed on to the insured. The ones who fall victim to crimes often don't report the crimes for fear of deportation.

Want to know what life is like for some undocumented residents? Check out Morgan Spurlock from CNN's Inside Man from this past Sunday. Spurlock experienced the job of an immigrant citrus picker for one day. Admittedly, it was the toughest day's work he's ever had.

Some in Congress have voted for extreme policies like making illegal immigration a felony, limiting education for immigrant children, or the deportation of 800,000 DREAM Act eligible young people. Some have used insulting slurs in reference to immigrants.

California's 25th District is the 9th most Latino district in the United States currently represented by a Republican. While Latinos care about other issues-- like affordable healthcare, quality education, and good jobs-- immigration policy affects many families. We need a strong advocate for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress, one who will fight for a reasonable path to citizenship.  Comprehensive Immigration Reform will improve our economy, reduce the deficit, and result in a more livable wage for immigrants, while simultaneously improving the security of our country. The Congressional Budget Office found that reform would reduce our deficits and add $450 billion in tax revenues over the next 10 years. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy showed that legalizing 11 million undocumented residents and giving them the opportunity to work legally, would boost tax revenue-- not create the financial drain some predicted.

Congressional opponents to immigration reform are doing it purely out of intolerance or for political reasons-- because the myth that it will hurt our economy has been busted! 

I need your help to get to Congress to give our district something it lacks, a representative who is a supporter of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Can you contribute $25 today to help send me to Congress so I can make sure we all have the chance at the American Dream?

Thank you!

Dr. Lee Rogers

McKeon has a dream too-- personal wealth and a political dynasty-- and he shares it with his family and closest cronies. Yesterday reported that David Mckeon won his battle to head the Las Vegas GOP.
Amid widely-publicized allegations of spousal abuse, rape, child abuse and fraud, Republicans in Las Vegas tonight chose David McKeon, son of our own Congressman Buck McKeon, to be the new Chairman of the Clark County Republican Party.

Running as the establishment-backed candidate, McKeon ousted Cindy Lake, who was the favorite of the Ron Paul faction of Vegas Republicans. Within minutes, naysayers were connecting McKeon to Veneitan owner and GOP mega-donor Shedlon Adelson.

David McKeon's name last surfaced in the SCV when it was revealed that the Buck McKeon campaign was making abnormally high payments to companies controlled by David McKeon for some minor website work.

With no apparent qualifications apart from his last name, McKeon joins his mothercousins and uncle as beneficiaries of the family business while the boss plans his exit strategy. Unclear if David shares the same "family values" that his dad is famous for.
I want to add one thing to Dr. Rogers' statement. Yesterday McKeon voted to repeal the affordable Care Act again-- for the 38th time. Just before he did, he bragged to his Big Money backers that "Today I will vote for two bills that will delay the implementation of two key provisions of Obamacare: H.R. 2668, The Fairness for American Families Act, which will delay implementation of the individual mandate for one year; and H.R. 2667, The Authority for Mandate Delay Act, which will ensure the one year delay of the employer mandate." I'm sure his Big Money backers-- and brainwashed listeners to Hate Talk Radio-- were delighted that McKeon voted, zombie-like, against "ObamaCare" again. But this is what the Affordable Care Act has already started doing in Santa Clarita, the Antelope Valley and Simi Valley:
7,600 young adults in the district now have health insurance through their parents’ plan.

More than 4,600 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $5.3 million an average discount of $500 per person in 2011, $580 in 2012, and $810 thus far in 2013.

67,000 seniors in the district are now eligible for Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

190,000 individuals in the district-- including 53,000 children and 69,000 women-- now have health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

237,000 individuals in the district are saving money due to ACA provisions that prevent insurance companies from spending more than 20% of their premiums on profits and administrative overhead. Because of these protections, over 39,000 consumers in the district received approximately $2.9 million in insurance company rebates in 2012 and 2011-- an average rebate of $71 per family in 2012 and $65 per family in 2011.

Up to 48,000 children in the district with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

251,000 individuals in the district now have insurance that cannot place lifetime limits on their coverage and will not face annual limits on coverage starting in 2014.

103,000 individuals in the district who lack health insurance will have access to quality, affordable coverage without fear of discrimination or higher rates because of a preexisting health condition. In addition, the 47,000 individuals who currently purchase private health insurance on the individual or small group market will have access to more secure, higher quality coverage and many will be eligible for financial assistance.
Buck McKeon doesn't know those people-- and doesn't care about them-- not one bit.

UPDATE: The Chairman of The Drone Caucus Strikes Again

While Hagel cuts Pentagon jobs to save money, the greedy and corrupt GOP slime-bucket from Santa Clarita, is guaranteeing himself and his sleazy family some personal wealth by forcing the military to buy unwanted drones, $2.5 billion worth of worthless Global Hawks from McKeon's second biggest campaign donor, Northrup Drummond ($173,500).
Fortunately for Northrop, they already had an army of 26 lobbyists on hand to block DOD’s request. Despite objections from the Pentagon and the White House, Congress demanded in the 2013 spending bill passed in December of last year that purchases of the drones continue. They even extended acquisition of new drones until 2016. Northrup Grumman did not respond to a request for comment.

It came at a cost. Northrup’s political action committee dumped $500,000 into the reelection committees of members of the House Armed Services Committee. This includes $135,000 to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), who recently wrote a letter to Hagel demanding Northrup be paid.

“Congress directed the Air Force to obligate previously authorized and appropriated funds to procure the remaining three Global Hawk Block aircraft,” Moran and McKeon wrote in their May 13 letter. “Yet, as recently as May 9th... the Air Force has continued to ignore clear Congressional intent and has not obligated these funds.”

“We encourage you to …ensure that the Air Force is in compliance with the current law,” they added.

The drones are manufactured in McKeon’s district, while Northrup is headquartered in Moran’s.

The letter was effective. According to an Air Force spokesman, Northrup will be paid for the drones that no one except Congress wants. 

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